The holiday season is in full swing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
First lady Dr. Jill Biden just revealed this year’s Christmas decorations at the White House, sharing photos of the festive decor on Instagram.
“For this year’s holidays at the White House, we hope to capture the spirit embodied in the very idea of America: We the People,” she wrote in her Instagram post.
“As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values — a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity — endure each season,” she continued. “Room by room, visitors will be reminded of what brings us together during the holidays, and throughout the year.”
Each decorated area of the White House offers a different take on the “We the People” theme.
There are more than 83,615 holiday lights throughout the display. (@flotus via Instagram)
The East Wing focuses on honor of remembrance and includes Christmas trees with gold stars engraved with the names of fallen service members.
The East Colonnade has a reflective, peaceful feel, lined with white winter trees and handmade animals that evoke “the feelings of peace and tranquility after the first snowfall,” the White House said in a release.
The Vermeil Room, meanwhile, explores the theme of “Kindness & Gratitude” and includes a tribute to the nonprofit organization Operation Gratitude, which delivers care packages to troops, first responders and military families.
“As our country gathers for the holidays, traditions may vary, but our shared American values — a belief in possibility, optimism, and unity — endure each season,” the first lady wrote on Instagram. (@flotus via Instagram)
The room also features illustrations of the Bidens’ cat, Willow, and their German Shepherd, Commander, “reminding us of the gift of unconditional love.”
As is customary, preparations for the White House Christmas decorations began in the spring. This year, there are 77 Christmas trees throughout the White House, and more than 83,615 holiday lights adorning the various trees, wreaths and displays.
This year's holiday theme is
“During your visit to the People’s House, through rooms full of history and holiday décor, in the mirrored ornaments and reflective lights, our hope is that you feel at home and find yourself in the great story of America,” the first lady wrote in an introductory letter to the 2022 White House Holiday Guide. “May the promise of We the People light our path forward into the New Year and bring us together always.”
Another traditional highlight is the Gingerbread White House, which this year includes a sugar cookie replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.
The Gingerbread White House was made “with 20 sheets of cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 100 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of chocolate and 40 pounds of royal icing,” according to the White House.
The traditional Gingerbread White House includes a sugar cookie replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. (@flotus via Instagram)
Earlier this month, Jill Biden received the White House Christmas tree, an 18.5-foot Concolor fir, which now stands in the Blue Room.
This year’s tree features handmade versions of the official bird of each U.S. state and territory, and the District of Columbia.
“The individual tree trimmings shine on their own,” the White House said in their release, “but woven together, this unified collection transforms a humble fir into a stunning symbol of We the People.”